EDC Events

The EDC organise several community events each year:

Table of Upcoming Events

You can subscribe to our email notification service in order to receive information about all of our forthcoming events.

Our Annual Early Dance Festival

We host a community focused dance history festival each year; enthusiasts and professionals from across our community perform for each other’s pleasure. A list of our previous festivals can be found here.

EDC 37th Annual Festival, Friday 16th to Sunday 18th October 2020 – online!

Because of the ongoing Corona Crisis, the EDC Committee has decided that it must hold our 37th Annual Festival online this year. This virtual Festival will feature performances from over 25 groups from across the UK and Europe, special guest speakers including Richard Powers (Stanford University, USA) and Dr Susan Deters (University of Edinburgh, UK) and a full programme of events.

Click here to view the Full Programme of Events.


Tickets for this year’s Festival will be free via Eventbrite, with a suggested donation of £5 (or more) for the whole weekend. The EDC appreciates your support to help us preserve and promote early dance and keep it on the dance floor of history.

You can find the booking link at https://tinyurl.com/y4chd2jd or on our Facebook page.

Our Annual Lecture

We host a popular dance history lecture each year. An archive of information on our previous lectures can be found here. What follows are details of our most recent Lecture.

PirateEDC Annual Lecture 2020

Patrons and Pirates: Publishing Dance in the Eighteenth Century

Friday 28th February 2020 7.15 p.m.; Swedenborg Hall, Swedenborg House, 20 Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2TH

Our speaker is Dance Historian and Archivist at New College, Oxford Jennifer Thorp. In 1706 English dancing-masters were introduced to the new concept (for London) of dances recorded in notation and manuals in English on how to read them. That year John Weaver, with the encouragement of two significant patrons, sold copies of his influential Orchesography and A Collection of Ball-Dances … by Mr Isaac through the Strand bookshop of Paul and Isaac Valliant. They did him an honest and successful job but inadvertently signalled to less scrupulous printers that there was money to be made in such publications, by fair means or foul. This talk looks at the ways in which some of the eighteenth-century dance materials that we cherish today came into being and survived – if they did?

Jennifer Thorp is a dance historian with both a practical and a research-based interest in court and theatre dance of the late17 th and 18th centuries. She is currently working on a biography and study of the career of the dancing-master Mr Isaac and has also contributed to the forthcoming books “Portraits of Dancers” & “Dance and the Enlightenment”. She co-organises the Oxford Annual Dance Symposium each April at New College Oxford.

For further information or to reserve your free place, please contact: secretary@earlydancecircle.co.uk or 020 8699 8519 . A suggested donation is £5.00.

Our Biennial Conference

The EDC hosts a major dance history conference every two years. Proceedings are published and an archive of information on our previous conferences can be found here.

EDC BIENNIAL CONFERENCE 2021: Retrieving & Reconstructing the Past through Dance (postponed from 2020)

7th-9th May 2021, at St Katharine’s, Parmoor, Frieth RG9 6NN (near High Wycombe)

This Conference will feature an international set of speakers on historical dance topics spanning the 15th century to the 20th. A list of contributors and topics will be included on the Booking Form in due course.

NB The EDC Conference for 2018: PERCEPTION AND RECEPTION OF EARLY DANCE, was held 18-20 May 2018 at St Katharine’s, Parmoor. This Conference has finished and work is now underway such that its Proceedings will be published soon.

Special Events:

We host and collaborate on other events from time to time. These can include workshops, study days and additional lectures, as the opportunities arise. Many such projects are undertaken in collaboration with another organisation, do get in touch with us if you have a joint project in mind. An archive of information on our previous special events can be found here. What follows are details of our most recent Special Event.

The 2020 Commedia Festival

Saturday February 22
Sands Films Studio, 82 St Marychurch St, Rotherhithe, London SE16 4HZ


From Noon onwards – costumed performers parade from the Churchyard of St Mary’s Rotherhithe to the Norwegian Church, where The Death and Resurrection of Pucinella will be staged, with dancing. Old Boney and a crowd of zanies will make their appearance.


Afternoon Workshops from 2 -4:30 will feature Barry Grantham and Olly Crick.

Evening performances of commedia will take place in the recreated 17th century theatre in the heart of Sands Studios.

Tickets are available on the door or via Eventbrite. For more information, contact: brrgrantham@gmail.com or bill.tuck@thorn.demon.co.uk.